Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interview with J.R. Turner Part 2!

And now, here is the interview you all have been waiting for! Here is the interview with J.R. Turner!!

AM: How did you get into writing?

JR: In 1999 I bought and read "For the Roses" by Julie Garwood in one day. Stuck waiting for a whole year for another book by her, I tried a few new romance authors I'd never heard of. Apparently, their covers were better than their pages because they didn't suit my tastes at all. I figured I'd rather spend the time writing the sort of book I wanted to read, then wasting time reading books I didn't care for. So, I began Loving Lillie, my first and only (and ever) historical romance that is now safely hidden away to protect innocent readers everywhere.

AM: How long have you been an author?

JR: In 2000 we moved from the big city to a small town. This meant career changes for me and my husband. He went into semi-driving, as he loved the open road, and I had a choice. I could continue on as a contract artist and keep painting portraits and signs for other people, or I could pursue my life-long dream of writing. I chose the latter (obviously) but I had never really seriously written before and I discovered very quickly how little I actually knew.

AM: What is your proudest achievement in writing?

JR: Gosh there are so many! My first was when My Biker Bodyguard won an RWA contest. I must have entered at least twenty or more of those contests and the closest I'd gotten was an honorable mention. When I took first place in romantic suspense, I was truly stoked! But then, you never forget the first time a publishing house wants to buy your book and I'll never forget the phone call that said "Stark Knight" was accepted. Since then, I'd have to say that my proudest moment was when I finally tackled that emotional hurdle I'd been struggling with for so long and discovered DFF: Dead Friends Forever made people get teary-eyed or cry. That was the validation I'd sought after dilligently trying to overcome my fear of writing emotion that felt like a low-budget cheesy soap opera.

AM: Is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?

JR: I would say that they shouldn't expect much at first. Learning to write is truly a process and every step must be made before the next step can be taken. Not only do you have to learn the mechanics, but you have to learn to think like a writer, which is very different than simply writing down what you're imagining. Thinking like a writer takes time just like learning to figure skate or play the piano. You'll not be able to put on skates and do triple axles and you'll be playing chopsticks for a long while before you can pound out Beethoven's fifth. When you first put pen to paper, expect to stumble, fumble and sweat through a ton of practice before you begin to tap into your true potential. I can truly say honestly, the effort is totally worth it! :)


J.R. Turner said...

Alyssa, this is so cool to see! Thank you so much for sharing this interview ;)


Milli Thornton said...

Thanks, Alyssa! It's always worth tuning in when Jenny talks about writing. I've learned a lot from her over the years.

Jenny, kudos for all your hard work and the resulting achievements. I'm so proud you're my friend/writing buddy!

Mary Cunningham said...

"think like a writer." Such good advice, Jenny.

Thanks Alyssa and Jenny for a great interview!


Samuel Morton said...

Yes, very cool, Alyssa.


Anonymous said...

Good post. If you really want to write, it will gnaw at you until you do it.

Pam Ripling said...

Great interview, you two! Alyssa, this could be the start of a wonderful series of interviews!